Paula Deen Splits Her Silver Hairs

by Anne Bennett on January 18, 2012

Paula Deen, the Food Network star and doyenne of Southern cooking, has finally ended all the internet and gossip-column speculation and admitted that she has had Type 2 diabetes for the last three years.

Apparently, she waited to make the announcement until she had garnered a paid endorsement deal with major drug company Novo Nordis for their injectable diabetes medication, Victoza.

Paula appeared on the Today Show on Tuesday and completely side-stepped the role of unhealthy eating during her interview with Al Roker, suggesting that diabetes is caused by a multitude of factors, including genetics, age, lifestyle and stress.

Although age may be one factor in the cause of diabetes–the disease was formerly called adult-onset diabetes–they’ve had to change the name to Type 2 diabetes because of the explosion in the last two decades of cases diagnosed in children.

Here’s the deal: being overweight or obese, along with a lack of physical activity, is the most common cause of Type 2 Diabetes and is responsible for nearly 95% of the cases diagnosed in the US. It is not age, it is not stress, it is too much food and not enough exercise. Why doesn’t Paula just say so?

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine has named her cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” one of the five unhealthiest cookbooks of 2011; the term low-fat appears only once in her book of over 450 pages while butter appears 300 times.

The Lady's Brunch Burger, a la Paula Deen

Just take a look at one of her recipes that appeared on the Food Network. It’s called the Lady’s Brunch Burger and it consists of ground beef, fried bacon and an egg sandwiched between TWO GLAZED DONUTS.

Look, I love Paula’s perky, sunny persona as much as the next foodie (although I own none of her cookbooks and I almost never use multiple sticks of butter in one recipe), but I am disappointed that she has decided to endorse a diabetes drug for lots of money instead of standing up and screaming at the top of her lungs, “Don’t do what I did! Don’t eat like me!”

Really. I think it’s that clear-cut. Please let me know if you think I’m being unfair. It won’t change my opinion, but perhaps it will make you feel better, in which case you may want to try the recipe above, which you  can find here!

Don’t thank me. Thank Paula. And then get on a first-name basis with your doctor.

NEWS FLASH: Yesterday Anthony Bourdain tweeted: “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon January 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I am so with you on this. I don’t care that she didn’t reveal her diagnosis to the world — I don’t care about other people’s health conditions regardless of who they are. But, from all I have seen, a little bit of exercise and eating right will correct Type II diabetes. Drugs don’t cure diabetes — nobody I have known has gotten better from taking the diabetes drugs — they just gain more weight and need more drugs. I have seen people obtain “normal” numbers through diet and exercise….but, alas, there are no big dollar endorsements from eating well and exercising….

Anne January 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Well said, Sharon. There’s no money to be made in touting fruits and vegetables. What I can’t figure out is this: Paula Deen is already a rich woman. I’m sounding naive here, aren’t I?

Jody G. January 19, 2012 at 1:01 am

I really agree with you, Anne. I saw her spout the same chapter and verse today on “The Chew” about stress, genetics, etc. She did qualify it by saying that she’s not telling you to eat this way all the time, but still. Seems like she’s squirming a bit.

By the way, about endorsements, I was surprised when looking at frames for eyeglasses, some of them had the Paula Deen name on them, too. What does Paula Deen have to do with eyeglasses?

Mary Flora January 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising in the light of the 1%ers that Paula Dean must make more and more money in every way possible. Since my husband had a quadruple bypass, we omit salt and fat as much as possible in our diets – both at home and eating out. I have so far dodged the diabetes bullet of my parents: I feel it is due to diet and exercise.

Anne January 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

Mary, I’m sure your healthy lifestyle has a lot to do with your having dodged the family diabetes bullet. Genetics are only part of the picture. Congratulations on taking responsibility for your own health!

Judy January 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

Totally agree. I don’t know how she can not own up to her diet being the root cause of her disease! Now, having said that – that “burger” looks very yummy, but I’d prefer it without the stuff in between the donuts 🙂

Miss you at WW Anne.

Mary Day January 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I grew up in south Texas, where grease is king. I didn’t even know you could cook a green vegetable without pork fat in until I was in my 30s. However, that “sandwich” is disgusting, no matter how much a person likes grease. ewwww

Christina K. January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

i completely agree with you, anne. in my opinion, paula should have pulled the plug or at least modified her cooking shows and she didn’t – for 3 years – moderation was not an option…ckh

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